[PDF] ✈ 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God ⚣ Guy P. Harrison – Thomashillier.co.uk

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God For Skeptics Looking For Appealing Ways To Approach Their Believing Friends Or Believers Who Are Not Afraid To Consider A Skeptical Challenge, This Book Makes For Very Stimulating Reading Many Books That Challenge Religious Belief From A Skeptical Point Of View Take A Combative Tone That Is Almost Guaranteed To Alienate Believers Or They Present Complex Philosophical Or Scientific Arguments That Fail To Reach The Average ReaderThis Is Undoubtably An Ineffective Way Of Encouraging People To Develop Critical Thinking About Religion This Is A Unique Approach To Skepticism Regarding That Presents Fifty Commonly Heard Reasons People Often Give For Believing In A God And Then He Raises Legitimate Questions Regarding These Reasons, Showing In Each Case That There Is Much Room For DoubtWhether You Re A Believer, A Complete Skeptic, Or Somewhere In Between, You Ll Find This Review Of Traditional And Recent Arguments For The Existence Of God Refreshing, Approachable, And Enlightening From Religion As The Foundation Of Morality To The Authority Of Sacred Books, The Compelling Religious Testimony Of Influential People, Near Death Experiences, Arguments From Intelligent Design, And Much , Harrison Respectfully Describes Each Rationale For Belief And Then Politely Shows The Deficiencies That Any Good Skeptic Would Point Out As A Journalist Who Has Traveled Widely And Interviewed Many Highly Accomplished People, Quite A Number Of Whom Are Believers, The Author Appreciates The Variety Of Belief And The Ways In Which People Seek To Make Religion Compatible With Scientific Thought Nonetheless, He Shows That, Despite The Prevalence Of Belief In Gods Or Religious Belief In Intelligent People, In The End There Are No Unassailable Reasons For Believing In A God


10 thoughts on “50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God

  1. says:

    When I heard the author Guy Harrison interviewed on the Point of Inquiry podcast, he felt that the main audience for the book is believers Frankly, I think he s deluding himself People religious and nonreligious alike generally read books that confirm their beliefs, not books seeking to dissuade them I just don t see a religious person reading this book through unless he she wanted to refute it Perhaps it would be read by a believer who is starting to doubt his her religion That said, i When I heard the author Guy Harrison interviewed on the Point of Inquiry podcast, he felt that the main audience for the book is believers Frankly, I think he s deluding himself People religious and nonreligious alike generally read books that confirm their beliefs, not books seeking to dissuade them I just don t see a religious person reading this book through unless he she wanted to refute it Perhaps it would be read by a believer who is starting to doubt his her religion That said, it s a remarkable book Guy Harrison is correct IMO that most books for atheists are too militant 50 Reasons offers a softer, conversational approach It s a nice manual for athiests and secular humanists to use in conversation with their religious friends and family members Points raised in this book can be used to encourage believers to think critically about their religion Chapter 20 in particular Athiests are jerks who think they know everything really gets at how to dialogue best with believers Harrison suggests questioning the believer rather than badgering them with arguments.Harrison systematically and gently exposes the logical fallacy behind each reason for believing in a god He offers tons of useful arguments for the athiest or secular humanist to use when discussing religion with believers The nice thing is, the arguments aren t necessarily argumentative An athiest and believer could enjoy a nice meal together while discussing any of these reasons I sincerely hope that this books gets into wide circulation among athiests, secular humanists, and the skeptical community at large It s very useful and will open manyminds than The God Delusion ever could.The book is consisely organized with one chapter per reason, a brief introduction and no afterward A bibliography and recommended reading list follow each reason The language is for the layperson and very easy to read Edited to add As I readof the 50 Reasons, it seems like a lot of the atheist s comebacks revolve around the multiplicity of religions How do you know which holy book is true Must be none of them How do you rectify a Christian who has heard words directly from Jesus and a Muslim who has heard Allah speak to him Both experiences can t be real And so it goes A good argument, but don t expect a new and different comeback for each of the 50 Reasons that Harrison lists


  2. says:

    I read Harrison s book for an online book club some time ago, and found it to be, for the most part, exactly what I was expecting Admittedly, I am a Christian in an very, very heterodox, liberal sense , but I don t think that renders me a biased reader There s one major problem with Harrison s approach He writes with a wrong headed attitude he expects to be convinced definitively one way or another of the existance of God with scientific evidence Any intellectually honest Christian will I read Harrison s book for an online book club some time ago, and found it to be, for the most part, exactly what I was expecting Admittedly, I am a Christian in an very, very heterodox, liberal sense , but I don t think that renders me a biased reader There s one major problem with Harrison s approach He writes with a wrong headed attitude he expects to be convinced definitively one way or another of the existance of God with scientific evidence Any intellectually honest Christian will admit to you that God is not something you reach by reasoning or logic rather, it is the process of an existential, Kierkegaardian leap of faith in something beyond and above one s self Therefore, all he really refutes is the religion of the fundamentalist, which isn t really religion at all it s just a set of unquestioned dogma I get the firm impression that Mr Harrison isn t familiar withintellectually complex and honest forms of religion and their various theologies Nowhere does he discuss Paul Tillich or Reinhold Niebuhr or Dietrich Bonhoeffer or any other theologians who appreciate the complexity and ecumenical natures of their faith Harrison doesn t try to appreciate any of this He wants scientific proof, when any one of the above would have told you flat out that science cannot prove the basic tenets of Christianity So it seems that this entire book was written attempting to get an answer that he already had Essentially, both writing it and reading it were a waste of time


  3. says:

    This is the atheism book many have been waiting for Much as I admire the vigour and meticulous logic of Dawkins, Hitchens and co, much as I share their frustration that religion has for too long been too elevated from challenge, I have to concede one criticism their books will most likely appear off putting to the average believer Despite the laudable aim of encouraging people to think critically for themselves, a combative tone scoffing at faith heads and failed fundamentalists ultim This is the atheism book many have been waiting for Much as I admire the vigour and meticulous logic of Dawkins, Hitchens and co, much as I share their frustration that religion has for too long been too elevated from challenge, I have to concede one criticism their books will most likely appear off putting to the average believer Despite the laudable aim of encouraging people to think critically for themselves, a combative tone scoffing at faith heads and failed fundamentalists ultimately blunts their power to convince Essentially these are books for atheists, or people halfway there They are not really books for the average believer This book is different Unashamedly polite but not nauseatingly so and shorn of the convoluted scientific and philosophical terminology that can sometimes alienatethan it can enlighten, 50 reasons succeeds in making a courteous yet thoroughly convincing case against religious belief Harrison understands that if you are serious about wanting to convince a believer, then you absolutely cannot afford to neglect the task of connecting with them People often forget that religious faith has pay offs beyond the simple matter of truth Merely hitting them over the head with reason and ridicule is doomed to fail Taking the form of short 6 8 page answers to the 50 common reasons for believing in a god, each counter argument is concise yet thorough The reasons are well chosen, and will be familiar to those of us who have ever debated religion from the authenticity of scripture, to the question of how so many people can possibly be wrong about something for so long Interestingly, Harrison also includes several less commonly heard reasons I am afraid of not believing Someone I trust told me that my god is real which go some way to showing that his interest liesbroadly in offering fellow humans a hand up from irrational beliefs rather than just point scoring and winning arguments Splitting the book into 50 digestible chapters makes each argument easy to pinpoint and turns the book into a valuable resource However it is the tone that really marks this book out from the rest sharp, effective reasoning delivered with a clear, conversational style He bends over backwards to be respectful, but never so far that he becomes intellectually dishonest This is no in depth philsophical examination, but it is by far the most appropriate atheism book I ve come across for recommending to a believer Worth reading for the atheist too, not only as a well organised resource, but also as an example of a different and potentiallyproductive approach to debating with believers


  4. says:

    Terrible logic in this book Harrison really only brings up one actual point in his defense That God is not scientifically provable And he does this over 50 chapters.He sets up straw man arguments so he can knock them down with this one point The only thing he actually proves is that he doesn t have the first clue about what people believe and why they believe.Add that in one chapter he brings out polls about different countries happiness level and another about belief in God or gods And the Terrible logic in this book Harrison really only brings up one actual point in his defense That God is not scientifically provable And he does this over 50 chapters.He sets up straw man arguments so he can knock them down with this one point The only thing he actually proves is that he doesn t have the first clue about what people believe and why they believe.Add that in one chapter he brings out polls about different countries happiness level and another about belief in God or gods And then tries to correlate them First off, the belief in a god poll is for a lot of countries incredibly vague, 40% 80% believe as a couple of examples He doesn t even try to figure out why those countries are or are not happy, just blames it on belief or disbelief in a god As said from my first words, terrible terrible logic.He also proves in his play it safe chapter that he has no real understanding of fundamentalist Christianity Just his own preconceived notions on what believers believe and what he thinks they should believe.I was actually looking forward to reading this as good food for thought, but I feel I ve come away with nothing and even feel a little dumber for having read it And even less faith in the intellectual prowess of atheists, especially ones that actually got a book published about it


  5. says:

    Pathetic This is as intellectually dishonest a book on the subject as I ve ever read If you are looking for arguments against the existence of God or gods skip this book Go to Harris, Hitchens or Dawkins, where they at least acknowledge the difficulty of, and attempt to address, some of the arguments for God that Harrison dismisses In the introduction to the book, Harrison states Out in the real world believers have little interest in convoluted arguments for gods that involve imagini Pathetic This is as intellectually dishonest a book on the subject as I ve ever read If you are looking for arguments against the existence of God or gods skip this book Go to Harris, Hitchens or Dawkins, where they at least acknowledge the difficulty of, and attempt to address, some of the arguments for God that Harrison dismisses In the introduction to the book, Harrison states Out in the real world believers have little interest in convoluted arguments for gods that involve imagining perfection, irreducible complexity, or the laws of thermodynamics In other words, before the book even begins, the author dismisses any well thought out though admittedly only two of these three could be described as well thought out arguments in favor of gods In doing so, he creates a scenario where he does not feel he needs to address them He then spends the rest of the book lambasting believers of various faiths for not having any well thought out arguments in favor of gods When he does bring up legitimate arguments, he twists definitions to make them suit him Case in point On page 72, quoting Charles Seife on the Big Bang, the beginning of the universebegins with nothing at all There is no space there is no time There is not even a void There is nothing On page 73, Harrison immediately follows Seife s quote with, Wow, so these scientists are trying to tell us that everythingwas compressed into a tiny space smaller than the period at the end of this sentence I m sorry Mr Harrison, that is NOT what scientists are trying to tell us or, at least, not the quote you just related Re read the passage you just quoted, please It seems small, but the difference between what Seife says, and what Harrison says has enormous implications.As a believer, I would also encourage you to read books FOR the existence of God to balance out But even if you don t read a balance of books, my point is this skip this book


  6. says:

    The Good Harrison makes non theism very personal He tries to be gentle, reach out to believers, and find common ground For example, he points out that just as Christians are not afraid of Muslim hell or the Muslim apocalypse, atheists are not afraid of Christian hell or the Christian apocalypse I particularly enjoyed Chapter 20, Atheists are jerks who think they know everything It was a welcome reproof of and invitation to nonbelievers to becompassionate and understanding He condem The Good Harrison makes non theism very personal He tries to be gentle, reach out to believers, and find common ground For example, he points out that just as Christians are not afraid of Muslim hell or the Muslim apocalypse, atheists are not afraid of Christian hell or the Christian apocalypse I particularly enjoyed Chapter 20, Atheists are jerks who think they know everything It was a welcome reproof of and invitation to nonbelievers to becompassionate and understanding He condemns some of Richard Dawkins writings and methods, while making it clear that he has the utmost respect for Dawkins position and reasoning I think that this would be a great book to give to amoderate liberal religious person who was seeking to understand a nonbeliever and un demonize them in their mind.The Bad Chapter 49 is a rehash of Chapter 2, although it is a great topic At times, Harrison can make flippant, potentially insulting comments about believers and belief I think it would nigh impossible to not make such comments, however, and I routinely make them around believers that I love and value very much Although many of the arguments are legitimate, they are at times so general that I can see how a believer would say, Well, that doesn t apply to my particular belief faith God Harrison obviously has no conception of how sophisticated and unique my particular theology is The Ugly This isn t the most sophisticated of books I understand that Harrison may be trying to appeal to ordinary believers on their level, but I didn t particularly enjoy the USA Today writing style The grammar was wanting in some places as well Not what I would have expected from a professional journalist.Four stars for being a great outreach tool, despite the deficiencies in content and style


  7. says:

    This is the book I wish everybody on the planet would read Or at least my friends and family.The best thing about this book is that it conveys the reasoning behind atheism without being even remotely condescending toward believers It wasn t written to convert people, or prove who s right and who s wrong It s just trying to inform.Not only does the book inform you about atheism and, being a book with a western world mindset, Christianity, but it also delves into many other world religions, s This is the book I wish everybody on the planet would read Or at least my friends and family.The best thing about this book is that it conveys the reasoning behind atheism without being even remotely condescending toward believers It wasn t written to convert people, or prove who s right and who s wrong It s just trying to inform.Not only does the book inform you about atheism and, being a book with a western world mindset, Christianity, but it also delves into many other world religions, some of which I ve never even heard of Harrison seems to have led a fascinating life so far, traveling the world and seeing many different types of people and cultures, and he gladly shares some of his stories and experiences while at the same time using them to illustrate the idea he s trying to convey in a given chapter.The format of the book is ideal for this sort of topic Each of the titular 50 reasons is given its own chapter, and each chapter can be read on its own, without having read any of the previous chapters The chapters are, on average, about 7 pages long This means that each chapter covers its intended topic thoroughly without going overboard with unnecessary prose or over elaborate explanations.No matter what you believe, this book will give you a lot to think about I originally wrote this for my blog, at


  8. says:

    I have read many books over the years on the topic of atheism and this was my favorite book The book reads like a great conversation with a friend that you have known for years Guy Harrison gets it He presents fifty reasons why people believe and provides clear, concise points to debunk them I enjoyed the book from cover to cover It s the first book I use as reference to make cogent arguments against my theist friends It s an easy book to reference and it s laid out in an easy to follow ma I have read many books over the years on the topic of atheism and this was my favorite book The book reads like a great conversation with a friend that you have known for years Guy Harrison gets it He presents fifty reasons why people believe and provides clear, concise points to debunk them I enjoyed the book from cover to cover It s the first book I use as reference to make cogent arguments against my theist friends It s an easy book to reference and it s laid out in an easy to follow manner without compromising the rational depth needed to explain each chapter It s fun, it s logical and I highly recommend it I m looking forward to reading Mr Harrison s most recent book Race and Reality What Everyone Should Know About Our Biological Diversity You should too


  9. says:

    It does give me some insight of the lack of consistency of believer dealing with their religion and other religion as well as atheism This book also give a good summary of why usually atheist fails to persuade believers to rethink their religion let alone abandon it , and I can see the author understands pretty well what makes believers stink to their belief is not logic or evidence, but emotion and attachment The book also warns us not think non believers are any smarter or intelligent peo It does give me some insight of the lack of consistency of believer dealing with their religion and other religion as well as atheism This book also give a good summary of why usually atheist fails to persuade believers to rethink their religion let alone abandon it , and I can see the author understands pretty well what makes believers stink to their belief is not logic or evidence, but emotion and attachment The book also warns us not think non believers are any smarter or intelligent people than believers, when usually they are just victims of their culture and society, which I think is a good reminder for those conceited atheist including me.Though the author s argument is not without its weakness, which is particularly apparent in the chapter of discussing the world s beauty which makes people believing God I don t think author citing the tragedies, warfare, the ugly thing is an effective way to counter the argument While the author has mentioned it is hard to crack so he has to resort to indirect method, he fails to delve deeper into the reason for human s awe towards the nature Maybe there is some evolution explanation behind it, where it is beneficial for human to be incited with such kind of emotion Overall, this book is a good read for any non believers who want to understandwhy people believe in their religion


  10. says:

    This is a reasonably straightforward and thoughtful consideration of the reasons people give for belief in gods The one knock here would be that after about number 23 or so, things get a bit repetitious Also, I read this over just a few days and it probably would be best to allow a bittime to absorb some of the material One argument that resonates is the idea that all religious beliefs are passed down through culture and family All of them Meaning, if you aren t born into a family or This is a reasonably straightforward and thoughtful consideration of the reasons people give for belief in gods The one knock here would be that after about number 23 or so, things get a bit repetitious Also, I read this over just a few days and it probably would be best to allow a bittime to absorb some of the material One argument that resonates is the idea that all religious beliefs are passed down through culture and family All of them Meaning, if you aren t born into a family or culture that worships the right god, chances are good that you ll be heading for the gates of Muslim, Christian, or Hindu hell